“Prayer is a form of connection with God;… a way to be aware of Hashem and His constant involvement in what is going on in the world… He is not only the Creator; He is involved through hashgacha pratit, Divine intervention, Divine providence… God is always around, but sometimes He conceals Himself.
[It] is important – that we always know we can always turn to Him, trust in Him, ask of Him things. If we had everything we needed, we would never turn to Him… He didn’t want to make things automatic… He sometimes reminds us that we need to turn to Him…
Of course we do our hishtadlut, our human effort,… but ultimately, God determines the outcome of our actions, except for those… that have to do with bein adam lechavero (between man and his fellow man), when it has to do with yirat shamayim, how we behave, how we treat other people..whether we observe a commandment or not. That is up to our free will. Other than that, it is up to Hashem what He decides to give us.
Sometimes, for some reason, we don’t have something. Hashem says, ‘It doesn’t mean you’re not going to have it. First, I want you to turn to me…'”